tv Consider This Al Jazeera August 24, 2013 10:00am-11:01am EDT
11:00 a.m. hour. california governor jerry brown declared a state of emergency late last night because of wildfires raging out of control moving into yosemite national park. flames are tearing through acrers of pristine woodlands. the massive fire doubled in size and is the largest in california history.
mission. >> there's more to america, more stories, more voices, more points of view. now there's are news channel with more of what americans want to know. >> i'm ali velshi and this is "real money." this is "america tonight." sglovrjs our -- >> our news coverage reveal more of america's stories. every sunday night al jazeera america presents gripping films from the world's top documentary directors. >> this is just the beginning of
something much bigger. >> thank god i didn't have to suffer what he had to go through. >> this sunday, the premiere of "into eternity". >> i am now in this place where you should never come. >> how do you contain 100,000 years of nuclear danger? >> it is an invisible danger. >> al jazeera america presents "into eternity". premieres sunday night 9 eastern. ...
s ... my name is jonathan betz. i'm from dallas, texas, and i'm an anchor for al jazeera america. >>my name is ranjani chakraborty, i'm from houston, texas. >>i'm kim bondy. >>nicole deford. >>and i'm from new orleans. >>san francisco, california. when i was a little kid, i just really loved the news. >>news was always important in my family. >>i knew as a kid that was exactly what i wanted to do. >>i learned to read by reading the newspaper with my great-grandfather every morning. >>and i love being able to tell other people stories. >>this is it, i want to be a part of this. >>this is what really drove me to al jazeera america. >> technology is coming on in the next few decades may make nuclear waste obsolete. we should all hope that's the case.
but right now the international atomic energy agency expects the united states alone to produce at least 32,000 tons added to the pile. my next guess has made a documentary about the nuclear waste time will will air on al jazeera. if the problem can't be solved by new technology. it's directed by michael madsen who we will see in this clip explaining what it's all about. >> i am now in this place where you should never come. we call it onkelo. onkelo means hiding place. in my time, it is still unfinished, though work began in the 20th century, when i was just a child. work would be completed in the
22nd century. along after my death. >> michael madsen joins us now from san francisco. michael quite dramatic. why did you make this film? what was it that inspired you to take on this subject? >> it was very simple that the onkelo facility as it's called which means hiding place in finnish is building something in a foolproof manner that has to last without any human interference for 100,000 years. what does 100,000 years mean and what does this facility tell me about the time and civilization that i'm living in, this may be the most consciously postcivillization building on earth. >> it could outlive human beings, by putting these nuclear waste that would remain unsafe for such a long time that what would lap over those 100,000
years that it would take for the nuclear waste to become safe? >> the interesting thing about the construction principle behind this facility which is a template for any other such facility that might follow in the world but this is the only one and it's still under construction, the main construction principle is that it should be able to operate in a kind of stealth mode. the reason for that is that the engineers, they don't expect human civilization to last for that long in a continuous planner. so the expectation is some kind of collapse in human civilization. and the reason why they call it the hiding place is that the concern is that it's probably the safest thing to try to forget about this site. because then, even though we may try to warn future generations about the toxicity of this place, then we will not get any people going down there by
curiosity. so the main thread is really for this facility is perhaps not a technological or other kind s of failure. it's more likely human curiosity and that is human nature. >> who is building this and where is the waste going to come from? >> this is in finland and only for the finnish waste. >> only that much of humanity for that much waste? >> it is a massive facility and it is something that most nations who have nuclear power are only about to enter. and only such nations, a gee like, japan for example, they are in an earthquake zone so that is not possible. when i was asking the finnish engineers are there any countries who can't perform
something like this? they say in japan there is no way for them to put this anywhere. >> and the u.s. is making some attempts, we'll talk about that in a minute. but the question then arises if you don't come up with these you know underground facilities that somehow you can put all this nuclear waste in you are then storing nuclear waste in the case of the united states all over the country in much less safe situations. isn't that more worrisome? >> i think that it's possible to say that underground is most likely better than above ground. that's -- i think that's something that you can say. but it is still, of course, very uncertain, what future human actions may be. and that's -- that's the dilemma about nuclear energy and nuclear waste as a result of that. that we're talking about time spans that i would say goes beyond human comprehension. 100,000 years is a time limit
that has to remain safe, and finland is actually a million years in the united states, but it's 100,000 years that we as homosaip homosapiens left africa for the first time. to be able to use the nuclear waste do you believe that is the situation? >> the film addresses that, no such technology exists, since the '50s and '60s, the belief in technological progress, if you do possess nuclear waste that's whether you can also create bombs and that's why there is concern about what may be going on in a country like iran for example. >> we have a question that just came from a viewer.
hermella agazi our producer. >> how does nuclear waste compare to goe fossil fuel? >> i can't say, but with nuclear waste you pass on a problem to future generations that they didn't ask for. there is a principle that calls polluter pays and that we are morally obliged to lanl the things that we create and benefit from in our age. the future generations circulate not suffer from that. but the problem of course is when i comes to nuclear waste that in this time span how can we actually act morally responsible? the finnish facility and therefore there's an understanding such an attempt to act responsibly. you can also say of course with fossil fuels we may be creating a climate change in a differently level that are
also incomprehensible, the consequences are beyond our comprehension. >> nuclear power would help on that front. of course the united states is long dwe debating a big deposity in nevada at yucca mountain. that continues to be a political fight. michael, your documentary into eternity, airs on al jazeera. we appreciate your coming. >> you're welcome. coming up, bob filner steps down but goes on the a tack. why do men in political situations get in this trouble? >> there is an area where you content while setting new standards in journalism. >> a new voice of journalism in the u.s., al jazeera america.
filner's resignation as san diego's mayor has been unanimously accepted by the city council. the democratic mayor's term will now officially end a week from today. he blamed his conduct on the combination of awkwardness and hubris. then he went on the offensive. >> the city should not have been put through this. and my own personal.failures were responsible. and i apologize. not
one allegation, members of the council, has ever been independently verified. or proven in court. [applause] >> i have never sexually harassed anyone. now, the hysteria ended up playing into the hands of those who wanted a political coup. the removal of a democratically elected mayor purely by resume and innuendo. >> christine pelosi joins us on the phone from california. christine wasn't much of an apology sort of because he really said he apologized to the city for going through it. it was a pretty unconventional speech. what do you make of it? >> well, i'm just so glad that the people of san diego can take a deep breath and move into the next chapter here with bob filner resigning as he should have done and the women of san
diego can know that democratic leaders stood up for them. in principle, over partisanship and saying bob filner has to go. >> you were part of the democratic party resolves that resolution that forced him to go. are you satisfied with the resignation or does more have to be done? >> i'm pleased with the resignation, i'm pleased that the state democratic party and the national democratic party said enough is enough and we cannot tolerate sexual battery as some of these allegations were by an elected official in public office. filner disgraced the office, he needed to go. i think the legal case will run its course and probably why putting on my lawyer hat here probably why he didn't make any admissions to the council that could be used against him in a court of law. >> right, he didn't apologize to any women, he said those are allegations that haven't been proven and only apologized
because the city had been put through the scandal. he became a focal points of political coverage this summer which has been a summer of political scanldz, anthony -- scandals, with anthony weiner running for political power. do you think these are exceptions to the rule? >> i think any man in political power who after bob filner who thinks he can get away with harassing women he needs to wake up and stop. as we talked today there are men in position of power who abusing that responsibility, and they need to stop. because the message that people should take from the bob filner resignation is enough is enough. there is a sea change. and what might have been acceptable before, what might have been ignored before, might have been rationalized away tolerated.
>> now we are seeing more women in power but we're not getting nearly as many of these kinds of scandal with women. why do you think that's so different? >> well, in part because i think it's so hard for women to get elected in the first place that there's a lot more at stake for a female elected officials than there is for men. this is bipartisan this is equally false to men and to women. however i think that let's make a deal we get to 50-50 men and women in elected office -- >> you think things will change on the bad side, too, all right christine, thanks very much. christine pelosi who chairs the caucus for the women's democratic party. next up, circumcision, we'll
this is the 900-page document we call obamacare. my staff has read the entire thing. can congress say the same? mission. >> there's more to america, more stories, more voices, more points of view. now there's are news channel with more of what americans want to know. >> i'm ali velshi and this is "real money." this is "america tonight." sglovrjs our -- >> our news coverage reveal more of america's stories.
what happens when social media uncovers unheard, fascinating news stories? >>they share it on the stream. >>social media isn't an afterthought. it drives discussion across america. >>al jazeera america social media community, on tv and online. >>this is your outlet for those conversations. >>post, upload, and interact. >>every night, share undiscovered stories. jazeera america. >> i'm kim bondy, growing up in news was always
important. you have this great product that you are ready to share with the country. i'm a part of a team that is moving in the same direction. >> for generations the conventional wisdom is that babies should be should be sir couple sized. expwhro ring me now from france is lloyd scoastled an activist who oppose s circumcise. circumcision. >> you tried to get it on a ballot in san francisco. you want circumcision banned in
the bay area, why is this such an issue for you? >> baby boys die from routine circumcision. there are a whole lot of bad effects, not a lot of good effects, the only thing circumcision does is interferes with sex, it interferes with cleanliness. we did get on the ballot, we collected 70% more of the signatures that we needed to get on the ballot in the sa city and county of san francisco. we got on the ballot to limit circumcision to what was medically necessary. a number of our opponents had us pulled off the ballot on a technicality so citizens of san francisco would not get to vote. >> we'll approach that but it is
not that simple. people with religious concerns, muslims, jews, something that's traditional and they would want to do. i've been when you talk about human rights and the suffering, deaths are very rare, infections are rea rare and i've seen kids circumcised and they were fine later on. is it something request significant? >> it's removal of 15 inches of erogenous area of the male. the foreskin is fused to the head of the a penis, one way flow of urine which is sterile, it's very important, most parents in the west anyway do have intact children. it is very, very important never
ever to retract, it is there for a reason, you shouldn't use soap and water, just as you wouldn't use soap and water on your mouth or eyes or in a female's vagina. >> doctor, there is being reduces infections in sex partners and studies in africa have shown where there is a lot of hiv that, a lot of men are not circumcised there and adds to the risk of aids transapplication in africa. you believe circumcision is a million benefit? >> we know there's no cure for hiv. we don't have a vaccination for hiv. this is something that could help benefit. i'm not saying that everyone needs it. it needs to be a family's right and decision to do this.
even though i medically believe this i'm not trying to get a political referendum to make everybody get circumcised. >> what about the american academy of pediatrics, they have been kind of wishy-washy about this. they put out a statement a while back that they didn't recommend it and it was up to you. then the most recent statement said the benefits far outweighed the risks and it should be covered by insurance. >> you want the people to understand the benefits. there is possible benefit of possible retraction, even penis cancer, if you can reduce it, these are benefits, people need to understand the risks and the benefits and have the intelligent discussion with mayor physician. >> lloyd don't the medical benefits outweigh the risks? >> absolutely not.
circumcision has been a search in the late 1880s whether the sanjay guptas of the generation, that masturbation takes care of a whole hose of ills that we need to take care of. it's important that not one medical association in the world recommends infant circumcision. many recommend strongly against it. particularly the royal dutch medical association recommends against it. you recently referenced the aap. it really depends on who's sitting on the committee. in 1996, there committee would was in charge of this circumcision task force stated this is cosmetic procedure. we shouldn't promote it. it's not necessary. we have a very different committee, in the aap who has drawn international criticism
from other medical associations -- >> doctor what do you say to that? i mean he has a point. the american academy of pediatrics has waffled on this. >> they have waffled on this because they don't want to say you can get it or you shouldn't get it. >> but why -- >> it should be a personal right, people argue about vaccinations, the seasonal flu vaccine, 40 million people get it every year. you can't force it, you can't mandate it. there are benefits. >> why do europeans, lloyd mentioned the dutch doctors, europeans, asians don't go for it. the rates are minimal only about 10% in urine. >> circumcision started as a religious belief. we found cultural needs for it. there may not be necessity in this area so. >> lloyd you tried in santa
monica and los angeles. in st. louis a baby is about 77% more likely to be circumcised. why is it happening all over the country? >> it really is happening all ore ever the country, we see parents educating themselves, the fallacious argument of the son looking like the father. people are looking into really what are the benefits, like i said, no international medical organization recommends it. if you look at stanford medical school's web page and they have a seven page list of bad side effects from circumcision, really, would you put your child under the duress and pain and mutilation of undergoing a circumcision, with a possibility of them dying, having infections? these are routine complications,
i was just reading today, there are a -- there are about 300 pediatric urologists in the united states, most of them take all of their time repairing mild to moderate circumcisions, gone wrong. degloving removing all of the skin on the penis, this is not considered a bad effect by many people. the foreskin is there for a reason. there is no dotted line on a penis for a doctor to cut. if someone is 18 years old and wants to have a circumcision for whatever reason and they know the risks and the benefits -- >> much tougher at that age. >> not really. it's actually much tougher on a baby because you cannot give general anesthesia to a baby. babies undergoing circumcision
i'm glad the one you witnessed seemed mild. but babies have vomited, burst lungs, have gone on to heart palpitations -- >> i want to go on to social media. i'm like to bring in hermella for that. >> thanks antonio, dr. radcliff, people on social media are talking about the aesthetics of being circumcised or uncircumcised. lacey green from san francisco uploaded this youtube video in response to negative comments about foreskin. it was uploaded nine days ago, there are already 175,000 views and it's appropriately titled i love foreskin. let's take a look. >> the foreskin serves as a little sheath, it keeps all the bad stuff out and it also keeps all the good stuff in. the foreskin has mucous membranes which store natural
lubrication also protecting those erotic nerve endings so they aren't overexposed and becoming desensitized by being all over the place. sees the foreskin in a cosmetic altered light. i don't think there's any cost cosmetically about the natural peni srves -- >> doctor, what impact can it have on one's sex life? >> well, i think it's like some people like blonds, some people like bruin brunettes. i don't think it makes any difference in that matter. >> thank you both for joining us tonight. having this interesting discussion. i'm sure it will continue to be debated. up next, we hear complaints that teachers should be getting paid more all the time. how about $4 million?
american dream is that anybody who's willing to work hard is able to get that good education, and achieve their dreams. >> that was president obama speaking this morning as part of his two day bus tour to promote his plan to lower the cost of college education. but consider this: the cost of college is certainly not the only part of our education system that needs reform.
once upon a time, america arguably had the best public education system in the world. that's not the case. well place first place finland and last place south korea. so how do we reform our schools? joining us to discuss this from washington, d.c. is amanda ripley, author of the book the smartest kids in the world and how they got that way. amanda thank you for joings us. >> thanks for having me. >> they pretty much faced a pretty serious shock when they got there why are those systems so different than ours? >> you know finland is considered the utopia of education now where kids are getting an outstanding results in math science, where koreans work night and day, these are
two different places and somehow they have gotten to the top of the world in education. >> south korea is different, because when you think of the difference between the u.s. and theirs, 60 years ago most south koreans were illiterate. the country now has a 93% high school graduation rate which is much better than the 77% we have here in the u.s. what changes were made there that were so dramatic, to make things so different? >> this is one of the most hopeful things about this subject. the smartest countries in the world right now were not always so smart. so sometimes it feels like this is a futile stagnant problem that we can never fix but these countries systematically did things sometimes by accident sometimes on purpose that made their systems much more rigorous on every level. particularly on all cases they made it much harder to get into teacher training college so they elevated the quality and rigor and also the prestige of the profession from day one. >> so you write about a teacher
in south korea that earns $4 million a year. most of that is tutoring not the norm but that reflect the level of prestige given to teachers something that doesn't happen here. >> the demand for education in korea like much of asia is out of sight. it is really hard to imagine but there are a lot of fascinating things to be learned from that fears cometion, competition for education out there. >> the numbers in korea and hong kong, some of the numbers are scary. 70% of the kids are using tutors out of school. is it not a situation where in effect the public education system isn't doing that well and the tutors are the ones getting the benefit? >> actually when you survey the kids in korea, they consistently say they prefer their tutors over their teachers. a risk in the united states once
people lose faith in the mainstream public system then they will eventually look elsewhere as education becomes more and more valuable. you want to keep that faith and maybe pick up some of the tricks of that competitive are public school, in your competitive market so you don't lose the faith and loyalty of parents. >> there are unions in some of those countries for teachers. >> it's pretty hard to go anywhere on the planet particularly in the developed world and find a country that doesn't have a teachers union. it is very hard to dismiss a teacher for performance anywhere in the world. so what does matter though and what does vary is how adversarially the system is. that is something that has definitely hurt us in many places in the u.s. >> talking about the rigors you mentioned, how the south korean kids can work just ridiculous hours. they're not being able to engage as much in sports, they're not
being able to have hobbies. do you see that as a bad thing in the long run? >> i think it's about balance. right? you don't want to go totally to excess in academics or in sports. interestingly, when you think about how american parents and kids think about spot in high school, and you translate that, the rituals about it to academics, that's how koreans think about academics. it literally is the exact same craziness but around academics. >> we have a tweet coming in hermella? >> students who are high achievers are considered heroes and sometimes in the u.s. they are considered losers, he says we need to change the narrative. now i know that might not apply across the board but how would you respond to that? >> you know there is no concept of the nerd in south korea. that doesn't exist.
the social capital in south crea korea is around academic achievement mostly a product of hard work. there is no way to learn without failing but the attitude is if you fail at something it's because you didn't work hard enough. it's not because you're bad at math or dumb or whatever. so this combination of really kind of elevating the prestige of academics plus a mentality that says it's a function of how hard you work and how much help you get as opposed to your innate skill is something a powerful combination and something we can learn from and obviously we don't want to get too crazy and get like koreans. >> the u.s. is now in 10th place when it comes to graduation among americans between 25 and 34. according to a study last year the u.s. ranking the math science and reading are also lagging behind many asian and european countries. if you go down the list we were
14th in reading 17th in science, 25th in math. is the issue that the american system has stagnated that it has fallen off that we haven't evolved enough, and the others have gotten better and if so what have they done that we haven't? >> we became of have stayed the same -- we basically have stayed the same and the other cubs have changed. other countries have dramatically improved, in some cases gotten worse, there is just all this movement all over the world and one thing you see in all these places is you know it's very hard to get serious about education until you are up against it economically. all the countries in the world the education superpowers right now were at an economic exings about compensation
exist ten shall crisis. >> how much of the, doesn't seem to really be that much of a factor if you compare to the u.s., the u.s. is at 13%, south korea 15.7 he% finland 12.7%. is this another argument that's been made in this country too that the money going into education isn't the issue? >> you know it's amazing because the united states spends more per student on kindergarten through 4th grade education than all but four in the world. you don't see that spending really predicts learning the way we wish it would. we tend to spend money on things that aren't related to learning. we don't pay our teachers a lot of money as we all know and at the same time we have classrooms full of a lot of technology compared to the kids i followed all notice right away that in their classrooms abroad they were very old school. there were not you know digital
white boards and -- >> not focused on the technology. we only have 30 seconds. jeb bush has tried opush a national common core, a little more old fashioned. is that something you've agreed with? >> yes, 45 states have signed on to that agreement, you want more rigorous requirements that require kids to think for themselves and solve problems. that is a huge deal and i hope it does move forward. >> all right amanda ripley. thank you, your book, the smartest kids in the world and now available. thanks amanda. the show may be over but it continues this, aljazeera.com, consider this, you can also go to twitter aj consider this. have a great night and a great weekend.
>> welcome to al jazeera, i'm riche lle carey in new york. president obama meets with his national security team to discuss options in syria. wildfires spread into yosemite park and new threats to san francisco. >> i have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the two meaning of its dream. we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. >> remembering the dream and the dreamer, 50 years later.